“A child rapist is not a political prisoner”

Because I’m still incensed by Romoan Polanski, child rapist and fugitive, and his defenders, some of whom I am thoroughly disappointed to learn about (Natalie Portman, Sam Mendes, and Salman Rushdie signed the petition in favour of the child rapist and fugitive), I am linking to this article by Ariel Gonzalez and this article by Megan Carpentier, both of which were featured on today’s Huffington Post. Gonzalez’s article is short and Carpentier’s is a little longer, but please read these articles because they are very, very important (especially Carpentier’s). Here’s the first paragraph of Gonzalez’s article:

Right-minded souls who reject claims of mitigating circumstances in the case of Roman Polanski should follow the example of Fred Goldman. He’s the father of Ron Goldman, the waiter who was butchered along with Nicole Simpson, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife. Since Simpson’s acquittal in 1995, Mr. Goldman has refused to utter the name of his son’s accused murderer. Instead he calls him “the killer.” This is what Polanski’s opponents should do on TV. Refer to him only as “the child rapist.” Remind people of what he is. Put his defenders on the spot. Notice how they avoid mentioning the specific crime to which he pleaded guilty. And when they do, they’re made to wish they hadn’t. (We’ll get to Whoopi Goldberg in a moment.) So let them bring up the Holocaust, Charlie Manson, Judge Rittenband. It’ll make no difference. Every time viewers hear “the child rapist,” their hearts will harden against any morally relativistic argument.

And here are some excerpt’s from Carpentier’s article:

In 1977, Roman Polanski offered to take pictures of a 13-year-old girl for French Vogue. He then gave her champagne and drugs, insisted she remove her clothes, and raped her. He has been carefully tending to his alternative mythology of that night ever since….

As part of the pre-sentencing period after his plea agreement, Polanski was allowed to fly to Europe to complete a movie, where he was photographed with another underage lover…who was 15…. Polanski then declined to return to the United States for sentencing….

Thereafter, Polanski gave an interview in which he excused his behavior by saying that his ephebophilic urges were universal to men: “Everyone wants to fuck young girls,” he told his interviewer, probably adding to the court’s concern that his behavior was continuing and would continue. Obviously, a legal system designed to protect women from rapists and sexual predators shouldn’t be keen to show leniency to a rapist as unrepentant and unapologetic as Polanski….

…rape isn’t about sex, at least insofar as most (normal) people understand sex.

Who would want to perform sexual acts on a crying, protesting, resisting woman? One rendered unconscious or semi-conscious? It’s grotesque to think about what rape is: a crying, fearful, unresponsive, protesting woman in pain, or one that simply lies there, unconscious, and must be moved like a rag doll to achieve her rapist’s ends. It’s not sex as much as its an assault, a penetration with a painful but non-deadly weapon. And people don’t want to think about Polanski in that way, for their own reasons–but that doesn’t mean it’s not exactly what he did to his victim.

And why would someone resort to it, we ask ourselves, when the alternative is better? The fact is that rapists don’t resort to rape: they choose it. Given all the women in the world who would have willingly had sex with Roman Polanski in 1977, he chose to rape an unwilling 13-year-old girl. He preferred it. Maybe he always preferred it, and this was the only child who ever came forward and called her rape by its name (a common occurrence among sex offenders: witness how long some Catholic priests continued to rape children without being caught).


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